Friday, November 20, 2020

“Give me the roses while I live”

There’s an old bluegrass song that comes to mind today.

Wonderful things of folks are said

When they have passed away

Roses adorn their narrow bed

Over the sleeping clay

Yes, we often say wonderful things about the dead.  But, the song continues:

Give me the roses while I live

Trying to cheer me on

Useless are flowers that you give

After the soul is gone

Let us not wait to do good deeds

Till they have passed away

Now is the time to sow good seeds

While here on earth we stay

At least 37 transgender persons that we know of, mostly women of color, have died in violence in the past 12 months in the United States, and hundreds more around the world.  

These persons were killed by friends, partners, lovers, and strangers.  They died from anti-transgender violence, or when their transgender status put them at risk, such as forcing them into unemployment, poverty, homelessness and/or survival sex work.

These victims, like all of us, are loving partners, parents, family members, friends and community members. They worked, went to school and attended houses of worship. They were real people; people who did not deserve to have their lives taken from them.

These deaths weigh on the trans community every day.  Once a year, we ask you to notice.  We ask for change.  We ask that all lift up Black Trans lives, which will in turn lift up all. And yet we are here again this year.  Say their names...

Dustin Parker

Neulisa Luciano Ruiz

Yampa Méndez Arocho

Scott/Scottlyn Devore

Monika Diamond


Johanna Metzger

Serena Angelique Velázquez Ramos

Layla Pelaez Sánchez

Penélope Diaz Ramirez

Nina Pop

Helle Jae O’Regan

Tony McDade

Dominique “Rem’mie” Fells

Riah Milton

Jayne Thompson

Selena Reyes-Hernandez

Brian “Egypt” Powers

Brayla Stone

Merci Mack

Shaki Peters

Bree Black

Summer Taylor

Marilyn Cazares

Dior H Ova

Queasha D Hardy

Aja Raquel Rhone-Spears

Lea Rayshon Daye

Kee Sam

Aerrion Burnett

Mia Green

Michelle Michellyn Ramos Vargas

Felycya Harris

Brooklyn Deshuna

Angel Unique

Yunieski Carey Herrera

Give me the roses while I live

Trying to cheer me on

Useless are flowers that you give

After the soul is gone

Lyrics from “Give me the roses while I live” - The Carter Family

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